If Adam Lambert Does It, Why Can't My Son?
This summer, I’ve been traveling around solo with my children, ages 4 and 8, more often than usual. After flying from the West Coast to the East Coast solo, we decided to spend five nights in a hotel near our former hometown in NJ. I planned the visit last-minute, so the days quickly became jam-packed with lunch and swimming and playdate invitations. To keep things sane, I decided to schedule the middle evening “off” and lured my daughter, Petunia, with the promise of an in-room spa date in the hotel room. Her little brother, Dash, a.k.a. “me too,” was happy to comply.
After a stop for spa snacks (M&Ms), we stopped at an Ulta store to pick up supplies for a mani-pedi party. I chose my favorite red (OPI’s “I’m Not Really a Waitress”), my daughter chose bright pink (“Shorts Story”), and my son chose bright royal blue (“Blue My Mind”). That’s right — my four year-old son wanted to have a mani-pedi too. And I decided to let him, hoping that my husband, the Guv – who wouldn’t see us for two more days – would support that decision.
Dash was so proud of those blue nails. He showed anyone who would look. At a friend’s house the next day, he showed the dad, a tough-guy pilot. I asked, “Do you think the Guv is going to have a problem with that?” And he hemmed and hawed and said, “Depends on how badly he wants to avoid doing battle with you!”
Backing up in time a bit, when Dash started preschool two years ago, he wanted to wear one of his sister’s headbands to school every day for the first week. The second day, the teacher pulled me aside and whispered, “Is this something we have to worry about?” I reacted strongly, and so did the Guv – Dash was only 2.5 years old, and he wanted a comfort object from his beloved big sister with him throughout his first days of school. He had abandoned the headband by the next week. But in the back of my mind, I wondered… was the teacher’s reaction homophobic? Was the “something to worry about” the idea that he might be cross-dressing and would end up – gasp – gay? I’ve seen many young boys, especially those with older sisters, try on princess dresses at our new preschool with no raised eyebrows, and my son will play Barbies with his sister anyday. Why do some people freak out about these things, all part of natural exploration? And if my son is gay, aren’t we past the time when we think it’s because I let him play with Barbies and paint his nails?Continued on the next page